From California to Massachusetts, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is approving what Bill McKibben calls "zombie fossil fuels." Sign here to tell them to knock it off and we'll deliver your message at the first commissioners meeting of 2016 tomorrow!
Have you seen this? In a recent editorial in the LA Times, Bill McKibben says:
The only way to short-circuit this zombie process is to fight like hell, raising the price, both political and economic, of new fossil fuel infrastructure to the point where politicians begin to balk. That's what happened with Keystone and it's happening elsewhere, too.1
Nowhere is the need to block new fossil fuel infrastructure more apparent than at FERC, the 'rogue agency' approving new fracked gas pipelines, compressor stations, export and import terminals from coast to coast. This week, FERC put out a new report about how local states should work with President Obama's Clean Power Plan -- our nation's first rules to limit global warming pollution from power plants. But they forgot an important point: To stop global warming, you have to leave fossil fuels in the ground. That means saying NO to new pipelines, new power plants, and all the other infrastructure with a long life span that FERC has only ever said YES to.
Tomorrow is the first commissioners meeting of 2016 - and we'll be there along with our friends from Beyond Extreme Energy, like always. Will you sign on to tell FERC that it's time to say NO to new pipelines and infrastructure and drive a stake through the heart of zombie fossil fuels?
The math on this is pretty simple. Scientists tell us to avoid a global catastrophe we need to leave 80 percent of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground and finance a just transition to 100 percent clean energy for everyone by 2050. But as McKibben says, if you build a pipeline or a giant new gas export terminal you're expecting to keep digging up new fuels and shipping them to market for another 40 years -- well into the second half of the 21st century. "It is, in other words, designed to keep us extracting carbon, the very thing scientists insist we simply can't keep doing and survive."
FERC is perhaps the worst example of what McKibben calls a "process is on autopilot." FERC says it doesn't have the power to stop fracking, and that it's unfair to make big power companies listen to every individual rate payer (even though we're the ones who have to live on a climate-changed planet after they cash in on global warming). FERC is ignoring the simple truth that as the regulator in charge of pipelines and other infrastructure, it's their ONLY job to consider what's best for our communities and planet when reviewing a pipeline. That's the whole reason our laws require companies to submit environmental and climate impact statements.
This week FERC blew it again! They wrote an 18-page paper with four "guiding principles" on how to comply with the Clean Power Plan -- but never once did they mention the idea of simply saying "NO" to fossil fuel infrastructure.2 Maybe that's why our allies are calling on two climate champions, Senators Sanders and Warren, to open a Government Accountability Office investigation into FERC for its "ongoing bias toward the pipeline companies it is intended to regulate."3
Unless we act together, FERC is likely to keep shuffling on forever, approving pipeline after pipeline and worse. Don't let it happen: Sign here to tell FERC to listen to Sanders, Warren, McKibben and other climate heroes by saying NO to new pipelines and infrastructure and driving a stake through the heart of zombie fossil fuels.
Thanks for being a zombie-fighter and a pipeline fighter too,
Drew and the keep it in the ground crew at Environmental Action
1 - Bill McKibben, How to drive a stake through the heart of zombie fossil fuel, LA Times, January 19, 2016
2 - Staff White Paper on Guidance Principles for Clean Power Plan Modeling, Docket No. AD16-14-000, FERC, January 20, 2016
3 - Maya K. van Rossum et all, Letter to Senators Sanders, Warren et all, January 11, 2016